Wrap your head around this one: On November 25, 2017 a healthy baby girl was born to a 26-year-old mother in Tennessee – but the embryo that would later result in the baby was conceived and cryogenically frozen in 1992. It’s now considered the oldest known frozen embryo to result in a successful birth.
As CNN reports, the couple, Tina and Benjamin Gibson of Tennessee, were not able to have biological children of their own, so they opted to have a “snowbaby” – a baby born from an embryo stored in a vat of liquid nitrogen. This form of assisted reproduction is not rare (scientists have been doing this since 1984), but using a 24-year-old frozen embryo most certainly is. Prior to this, known frozen embryo to result in a successful birth. It’s entirely possible that older embryos have been used; as New Hope Fertility Center doctor Zaher Merhi explained to CNN, U.S. companies aren’t required to record the age of the embryo used, just the outcome of the pregnancy.
Interestingly, the baby girl’s biological parents preserved a total of three embryos, so an opportunity exists for Emma to have biological brothers and sisters. “[After] having natural childbirth, I’m like, ‘I’m never doing that again!'” Tina told CNN. “But I’m sure in like a year, I’ll be like, ‘I want to try for another baby.'”